Volume 16, #1 Spring/Summer 2010
From the Chair: It's almost time for our spring meeting at Valparaiso, 225 miles and almost 5 hours drive time and work $225 round trip travel at the 2010 IRS standard mileage rate, north of last spnngr's meeting at IU-Southeast in New Albany. Being spread apart can be a challenge for Indiana government document librarians, but I hope to see as many of you as possible.
We have much to talk about, including:
Wabash's departure from the FDLP and the opportunity it presents gives the rest of us to fill in gaps, or replace missing or damaged documents. It motivated me to finish a spreadsheet we started ages ago, of missing and damaged Serial Set, Smithsonian, and USGS volumes.
Progress on the Light Archive and ALF in which it'll be stored, and how we identify materials we need to use from these.
INSPIRE-The new database package should be announced soon. Perhaps this is a good time to push for adding GPO.
Progress on a government documents issue of Indiana Libraries and other outreach we could do to other libraries and librarians.
The recent Documents for a Digital Democracy report, and numerous mis-reportings, and misunderstandings of its core message. Everyone I've talked with has picked up much more on the idea represented by Patrick Ragain's Fixing the Federal Depository Library Program that there's something hugely wrong with the FDLP and depository libraries and with being a depository, than on the report's key points that "historical collections are dramatically underutilized in relation to their potential value [emphasis added]," and "Newly released digital government information is not adequately preserved [emphasis added]." Neither my Democratic or Republican colleagues understand my fears that future administrations will be significantly uninterested in paying for the provision of free permanent public access to the records of prior administrations and agencies, especially those led by the other party, and that future generations of taxpayers won't see perpetually paying to maintain free digital access to every edition of every report, brochure, booklet, law, poster, and website, as a worthwhile government expense. They read and remember the first half of a "Without substantial structural change, the FDLP risks sliding further into irrelevance..." but missed or forgot the second half of the sentence, "and the general public's need for sustainable, no fee, permanent access to government information will be increasingly threatened."
It's also "Notable Documents" season, with Library Journal publishing GODORT's 2009 selections in its May 15 issue. I'm pleased to announce that Depauw has seven of the thirteen tangible federal documents, and all but one had already been identified by staff other than me as worth cataloging for our general collections! Thinking I might check which federal "Notable" documents we don't have (with hope of getting them from Wabash), I was displeased at the effort it takes to find the old lists on GODORT's website. (Fortunately, they're not hard to find on Library Journal's site.) The article links to a submission form for next year's nominees. From that page, you can eventually figure out you'll find more under "Committees," where you find "Publications," which links to a 404 Object Not Found! page, a "History and Bibliography" page that lists, but does not link to, past lists, and was "Last update[d] 7/23/2007." Hoping that I might find something under News (silly me), I learned that GODORT had elected Amy West chair for 2009/2010, and has several programs planned for Anaheim 2008 listed in extremely small font size and that current GODORT news is on the wiki. If by current, you mean February 2008, then both of the news items on the page they link to should satisfy. Seriously, any who's tried to find very basic information on a small committee or department website(or, to be fair, anybody who's ever tried to maintain one) ought to know that converting even recent materials, much less the entire federal legacy collection, to digital access is Sispyphean. (Kathryn Courtland Millis, DePauw Univerity).
China Maritime Studies Institute: China's increasing wealth and international political and military power has caused it to develop economic and strategic interests in global locales distant from it shores including the Persian Gulf, Africa, and Latin America. China has increased its economic aid to many countries without the human rights or political reform conditions the U.S. and other western countries often attach to their foreign aid recipients. In addition, China has become an increasingly important maritime power as its civilian and military fleets are increasing in size as they seek to provide Chinese domestic markets with access to energy and other economic assets from all corners of the globe. In recognition of these developments and concerned with how they might affect U.S. economic and maritime strategic interests, the Naval War College has recently established the China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI) as one of its institutional research components.
CMSI research interests include energy, global commerce, law of the sea, maritime technologies, merchant marine, naval development, naval diplomacy, and shipbuilding and this research will emphasize the critical importance of the Sino-US maritime relationship for 21st century maritime security. The institute's website includes descriptions of its activities, faculty information, webcasts and media writings by institute analysts, the text of selected scholarly articles from journals like Naval War College Review, citations to books or book chapters written by CMSI faculty, and the full text of publications from CMSI's China Maritime Studies monographic series including Comprehensive Survey of China's Dynamic Shipbuilding Industry: Commercial Development and Strategic Implications (2008), Chinese Mine Warfare: A PLA Navy 'Assassins Mace' Capability (2009), and Five Dragons Stirring Up the Sea: Challenge and Opportunity in China's Improving Maritime Enforcement Capabilities (2010). (Bert Chapman)
Purdue Libraries News: I've also taken on the responsibility of being economics librarian and am looking forward to the opportunity to instruct students in this subject on the rich variety of government information resources on this topic. We continue our retrospective cataloging of various U.S. documents. We've made great progress with cataloging microfiche from the 1970s and 1980s in HSSE Library and have also made progress cataloging items for the Indiana Government Documents Light Archive from the Defense Department from the 1970s and earlier and are currently working on FDA, NIOSH, and Interior Dept. environmental impact statements from the 1970s and early 1980s. These paper documents will be kept in the HIKS Repository in the basement of the Undergraduate Library. Financial restrictions have made it impossible to purchase any new databases. Some revisions in appearance have occurred to the research and instructional guides sections of the libraries Documents Department website in an effort to achieve greater uniformity in the appearance of Libraries websites. These aesthetic changes will eventually encompass pages on the INDIGO website. My book Military Doctrine: A Reference Handbook, released last fall is selling reasonably well and I'm currently working on a comparable book for ABC-CLIO called Geopolitics: A Reference Handbook which will appear sometime next year. The current display case exhibit is "Government Documents on Pacific Ocean Islands" and a previous exhibit was "Government Documents on Military Medicine." I did a poster session presentation on United States farm legislation for the U.S. Agricultural Information Network (USAIN) conference hosted by Purdue Libraries and also participated in a presentation with Kirsten Leonard for Indiana Library Federations' District 2 conference in Kokomo. Purdue University has also established a Global Policy Research Institute whose research emphases will include agriculture, the environment, energy systems, economics, health, security, and society and leadership including family matters. Our retrospective government documents cataloging since the last newsletter includes the Defense Dept., EPA, FDA, NIOSH, and we're beginning some Interior Dept. agencies we're responsible for under the Light Archives. These newly cataloged materials are in the Undergraduate Library's HIKS Repository. (Bert Chapman)
Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) Information Resources: One of the federal government's responses to the financial crisis of late 2008-present was creation of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) whose intentions include cleaning up toxic mortgage debt and restoring credit access to borrowers who have seen previously available credit sources diminish or disappear. Consequently, a wide variety of information resources have been created by multiple federal agencies to provide information and statistics on this program as well as information documenting TARP's legislative oversight.
The Treasury Dept website FinancialStability.gov is the primary resource for administering this program. Various data sets on program administration can be found in the data.gov website. The Federal Reserve Board provides the following resource with additional information. The Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) audits this program's management performance for the Treasury Department and Congress. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation also has additional TARP resources of interest to financial institutions.
Numerous congressional committees and congressional support organizations also provide legislative oversight, funding, and documentation of TARP program performance. These include theHouse Financial Services Committee, the Senate Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs, and the Congressional Oversight Panel (COP). The Government Accountability Office (GAO) also provides excellent information on TARP programs as does the Congressional Budget Office and Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports available through a variety of sites. (Bert Chapman)